Gorgeous Place In Peninsula

unduhan-29The frenetic nature of modern times seems to have been kept at bay in this gorgeous part of the world. Don’t let the leisurely pace fool you – the opportunities for nail-biting adventure, outdoor exploration and snow and water sports are endless in the UP in all seasons.

Plenty of room to breathe

Perhaps life isn’t so harried in the UP because there are simply fewer people here. Around 320,000 residents (three percent of the Mitten State’s population) live among the region’s 16,500 square miles – making up 28 percent of Michigan’s landmass. That’s a lot of elbow room. All this bodes well for visitors who want to explore the 4,000 inland lakes, some 40 picturesque lighthouses and 300 waterfalls, sunken shipwrecks, colonial forts and more than a thousand years of Native American history.

Hearty provisions

Stop in at Steinhaus Market (steinhausmarket.com) in the adorable and bustling downtown Marquette for charcuterie, pretzels and a bottle or three of beer.  Lagniappe (marquettecajun.com) serves Cajun fare, and it’s a lively spot, even on the grayest winter day. For locally-sourced, modern small plates and craft cocktails, duck in to The Marq (marqrestaurant.com) for deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds withromesco and giardiniera or smoked whitefish salad with currants, zucchini, almonds and mint. Their sassy Hipster cocktail (Campari, lemon, PBR and fresh lemon balm) may make you want to grow a beard and cuff your jeans.

The very hip and hardworking team at Blackrocks Brewery (blackrocksbrewery.com) nearby will regale you with fat bike stories over one of their beers. Each can has a story, many honoring the area’s seafaring history or showing local love, including the Hiawatha Wheat, brewed just for the three-day Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival (hiawathamusic.org) that takes place the last full weekend of July each year. The bash was founded in 1978 and features bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, acoustic blues, folk and dance music with a trophy for the best decorated campsite.

Michigan’s winter wonderland

With 17-plus feet of natural snowfall on the slopes, Big Powderhorn Mountain (bigpowderhorn.net) in Bessemer offers up 33 runs from 10 lifts. One of 14 ski resorts in the UP, it shares lift tickets with nearby Indianhead Ski Area (indianheadmtn.com) in Wakefield. These Huron and Porcupine mountain ranges once towered over today’s Rocky Mountains. Successive glacial shifts have brought them down to a still skiable 2,000 feet, Michigan’s highest.

Off piste, fat tire biking is tearing up snowy trails, like the 10.58 miles groomed trail at the Noquemanon trail Network in Marquette. An annual race there is among the 45NRTH Great Lakes Fat Bike Series (greatlakesfatbikeseries.com), the country’s biggest series, which runs between December and March every year.

There are also more traditional Nordic ski trails available throughout Marquette South Trails. The country’s largest ski jump (one of only six in the world) is 80 miles south in Iron Mountain and is set to reopen in 2017. The  man-made “sky flying” hill is a 35-degree, 469-foot structure that sits 26 stories high and saw its last official run in 1994. Check the local calendar for events, or just stand underneath it in a brisk breeze to witness the Copper Peak (copperpeak.com) swaying as much as 18 inches by design.

Inside the Eben Ice Cave on Lake Superior © Getty / dpenn

Explore ice caves (mightymac.org/ebenicecaves) by clamoring over a snowy Lake Superior beach to see where waves, melting ice, wind and extreme temperatures combine to form translucent blue caverns. The tiny town of Eben Junction is just outside Marquette and is the gateway to these fantastical formations. Depending on recent snowfall, snowshoes may be handy for the near mile hike from the well-marked parking lot to the ice caves. Caves start to form as early as December.

Spring’s thaw

May temperatures in the UP will reach the mid-60s and dip back to the low 40s at night, perfect for hiking or exploring. Whitefish Point is located in the northeastern UP and is best spot in the upper Midwest for viewing bird migrations. In the spring, huge flocks of raptors and waterfowl pass by here. Rarities such as the Boreal Owl and Jaegers are occasionally seen. The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (wpbo.org) has recorded more than 340 bird species on their books. During the last week of April, their Spring Fling is an ornithological riot of workshops and birding.

More of a history hound than a bird buff? The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum (shipwreckmuseum.com) opens each year on May 1, and tells visitors about the lake’s shipwrecks, including the wreck of the famousEdmund Fitzgerald. At 729 feet and 13,632 gross tons, it was the largest ship on the Great Lakes until her demise, which was immortalized in popular culture by the eponymous Gordon Lightfoot song.